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My work is inspired by the marks of human activity all around us. Bustling cityscapes, old and new jostling for space, timeworn aspects of an industrial building, casual graffiti. They convey the universal human wish to be seen and to communicate: “I am/was here”.
Growing up in India, I frequently came across traditional potters working on a stick-driven potter’s wheel. The harmony and grace involved in the process of forming clay into functional forms fascinated me. I discovered clay for myself later when I was working on my Ph.D. in Communication at Texas A&M University, USA.
As I grappled with questions of identity and cultural boundaries, both as a research topic and a lived experience, finding clay made me feel anchored. Clay’s tactile quality and the unbroken connection to our collective past drew me to it. For many years wheel throwing remained a hobby as I moved from the USA to UK and back to India for personal and professional reasons.
In 2017, after five years of assistant professorship in Gender Studies, at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, I moved to Stoke-on-Trent, the historic centre of the UK ceramics industry. A two-year diploma in pottery at Clay College gave me a chance to embrace the medium that I am drawn to intuitively.
At Clay College, I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best known British and Japanese master potters. My work is an amalgamation of different aesthetic and cultural influences. I use stoneware clays layered with coloured slips and oxides in various combinations of mark making and sgraffito. I intend to capture the layered, palimpsest-like, quality of the human story. For further layering and for purposes of functionality I use clear or white glazes with occasional addition of coloured glazes.
I work from my Studio located at Spode Works, a heritage site, in Stoke-on-Trent. I also work as an associate artist with the British Ceramic Biennial.